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June 17, 2011

So, I don’t even know how to write about this.

I thought I was done crying, but apparently not, since I’m having trouble seeing the screen, and my throat is closing up in a way that is all too familiar, given the amount of tears in the past 48 hours.

We had to give Maggie back. None of it is Maggie’s fault. For lots of reasons, having a puppy was too much for us. For me, it pushed me to really unhealthy stress levels. I have never had panic attacks but I was feeling like I might, at any moment. I know, I know. I know. Please don’t judge too harshly. We just didn’t realize. And we should have.

Thankfully the rescue people were really nice, obviously loved her (she was their favorite), and said they will find her an amazing home very quickly. This did not stop me from sobbing like my heart was breaking, which of course it was. And is.

The worst thing is that we are such animal people — to admit that we couldn’t take care of her just kills us. We loved her so much — I haven’t been able to stop crying for more than a few hours, since we realized it just wasn’t going to work. She was a perfect puppy, and would have been an amazing dog.

Maybe, at some point down the road, we will try again. With a nice, well-behaved, medium-sized adult dog. But for now, we are going to focus on resting. We have been operating from a place of grief (losing two cats in less than three months, plus a bunch of other stresses and crises which I haven’t really blogged about), and we need to just stop. Regroup. Recover.

I’m considering closing comments on this post, but I’ll leave it open. Please, anonymous posters, keep any nonsupportive comments to yourself.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2011 11:02 am

    aw, what kind of jerk would say something unsupportive?

    if you look at the big picture, you guys did the right thing. had you kept maggie may knowing you just couldnt handle it, no one would have been happy. and puppys get adopted FAST, she’ll have a new home in no time, im sure of it.

  2. June 17, 2011 1:50 pm

    She will get adopted fast — she’ll be on her way to her new home within days, I’m sure. I just feel so sad. And stupid, like we should have known. But how could we have known? It just feels bad.

  3. June 17, 2011 2:51 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this because I have no doubt it was super hard for you both. I’ve never had the courage to actually get a puppy, as cute as they are, because of the amount of work they are. I’ve always let someone else do the hard work for me. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve adopted some sweet dogs over the years.

    I hope that neither of you beat yourselves up about this. Maggie will find the right home and you guys are focused on the very most important thing which is your relationship. You guys are great, you are very open about your love of animals and we all know you did the best thing for everyone, including Maggie. I am sorry for your pain and acknowledge the realness of it all. I just hope you don’t give time to a bunch of negative thoughts.

    • June 17, 2011 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Carl. Yes, next time (if there *is* a next time — we are feeling shaken about dogs right now), we will probably get an adult dog. I think that would be better for us. It was really, really sad. I know she’ll find a great home right away; we’re just going to miss her. Trying not to feel bad/guilty/etc about it, but we are sad. Thanks for your supportive thoughts!

  4. June 17, 2011 6:12 pm

    Oh hon I’m so so sorry. I can’t imagine what kind of a jerk would make an unkind comment about your painful decision, which was the best one for everyone, as hard as it was to make.

  5. June 17, 2011 10:42 pm

    Aww: the same thing happened to me Daphne; I had to give back Colette, the first dog I got from a rescue group, because she was trying to kill the cat and she wasn’t big on being pet/laying right next to me and I was just exhausted ALL the time. And I felt so horrible, and I didn’t want to blog about it, but then when I did everyone was so sweet and understanding and supportive. I’m willing to bet the exact same thing (in terms of comments left) will happen for you!

    Ultimately, you guys are obviously huge animal lovers, and you went into it honestly and gave it your best shot. And once you realised it wasn’t going to work, you sacrificed so that Maggie could find a better fit. And you were ABLE to give her back to the rescue group because you’d decided to do rescue in the first place! I’m so sorry for how sad you must be, but don’t feel guilty or worry about us judging you. *huge hugs*

    >>Yes, next time (if there *is* a next time — we are feeling shaken about dogs right now), we will probably get an adult dog.

    Daphne, after I realised I had to give back Colette, I seriously thought that maybe dog ownership just wasn’t for me; I thought I had made a HUGE mistake asking my parents to let me have one, I was feeling horribly guilty over things not working out with Colette, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that it was a ‘now or never’ moment (my parents just aren’t animal people, so the likelihood I’d be able to convince them to give it another try in a year was slim), I probably would never have brought Thistle home. But Thistle is so, so perfect: I can’t begin to describe how much she brings to my life. And whereas with Colette, everything felt like *work* and made me so tired and stressed, with Thistle everything just fell into place. The difference was like night and day, and when I think back to how close I came to not getting Thistle from fear and worry, I shudder. So don’t give up hope! I can understand, with all of the animal related sadness y’all have been through lately, deciding to step back for awhile. But I’m positive that there’s a perfect dog for you. *more hugs*

    • June 17, 2011 11:43 pm

      Oh Eva, thank you so much for your kind words. this was exactly what we needed to hear. It’s true; we ARE huge animal lovers and we feel so unsure of ourselves — how could we give her back? A puppy! Who gives back the cutest puppy in the world? But it was just too much for us, and it was really, really hard to admit that. It’s incredibly painful and we are still so very sad.

      And thanks for reminding me about your journey to getting Thistle (cutest little dog ever, BTW!). We will try again later, and I have a feeling if, when we are ready, we just sort of announce that we are ready, the right dog will come to us. That’s always how it’s happened with cats — we announce that we have space for a kitty, and the right one shows up. So hopefully that is what will happen with a dog, when we are ready.

      We have had too many animal losses recently and we haven’t been thinking too clear. And we have been so tired for many months. It’s time to just settle down, feel the scary sad feelings, and get through it together. And then see about who might be ready to come to our home. Thomas would like a friend, I think. But what is clear is that now is not the time.

      Thank you again for your kind comment, it really means a lot to us.

      • June 18, 2011 10:22 pm

        *hugs* I’m so glad that my comment helped, and I’m keeping you both in my thoughts. Some quiet time to relax and regroup sounds just about perfect.

  6. June 18, 2011 3:41 am

    I am sorry it didn’t work out for you, but you will know when it’s a right match, be it puppy or adult dog or another cat or whatever animal it turns out to be. cut yourself a break …all animal lovers find the “right one” when the time is right.

    • June 18, 2011 5:42 pm

      Thank you so much. We’ll find the right new friend for us when they arrive — whenever that is.

  7. June 19, 2011 9:12 am

    I saw this on FB but wanted to leave my comment here…I don’t think anyone could ever accuse you two of being thoughtless and uncaring, and I know that if you were having panic attacks about the puppy, you mean it. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out with Miss Maggie, and I really hope that you two will find a cuddly little thing when you’re ready for it.

    • June 19, 2011 11:59 am

      Thanks, Kate. It was really humbling and heartbreaking. It was like, “Oh, right there. That’s my stress limit. Aaaand, now we’re over it.” Not pretty. I know Maggie is probably already in her new home, having a ton of fun. 🙂

  8. June 21, 2011 4:08 am

    Don’t feel bad….Sometimes these things don’t work out. We had a puppy for six days before I realized I couldn’t take care of my then-crawling baby boy and have a pup who was pooping and peeing all over the floor all day long. Really, don’t beat yourself up. Someday the stars will align and you’ll get the right dog at the right time. We rescued my current pooch as a one-year old fully trained dog — she’s the best!

    • June 21, 2011 7:52 pm

      I think that’s what we’re going to try — a nice adult dog who needs a home. Better idea all around, for us.

  9. trapunto permalink
    June 23, 2011 4:58 pm

    I only just found this post. So hard! I can only chime in with your other commenters that your experience resonates with me; it’s a theme in my life–apartment searches, pets, that those tears come with the really-wanted-it-to-work-out first try. I try not to think of them as mistakes or losses, just necessary part of the process of figuring out how things gotta be–which usually turns out even better than I even thought it could be when I was so immersed in wanting option 1.

  10. June 23, 2011 7:35 pm

    I’ll repeat what everyone else has said…don’t feel bad. You were honest and realistic. If you had kept her resentment and anger would probably set in. And that’s not good for anyone.

    Dogs are a lot of work in the puppy stage. A lot. Most of it physical. Be at peace with your decision.

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